Detangling the Holocaust from Israeli-Palestinian Politics

I wrote this a few years ago now, but still find it to be an important challenge to myself, and for anyone else who sometimes struggles to hold multiple truths at once.

The Leftern Wall

[This piece was originally published on Common Ground News Service]

Jerusalem – Late last month I went to the children’s memorial in Yad Vashem, the Holocaust memorial museum in Jerusalem. I stood there and took in the names, the candles and the glass. And I felt confused and sad and a little bit broken.

It was 27 January, International Holocaust Remembrance Day, and it was the first time I had gone to the memorial in five years. I went because I wanted to reclaim a small part of myself and my history from the tornado of political and historical ownership that twists so jaggedly in this place.

When I realised that International Holocaust Remembrance Day was approaching, my first thought was, “great – another opportunity for Israel’s leaders to make the world feel guilty and back away from their criticism of its settlements.” After reading the works of Jewish philosopher…

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